#163 - April 22, 2011

Developing a vineyard pest management program ain’t easy

As our vine/wine industry matures the questions I get about pests and pesticides have generally become more specific, but this is not always the case. We constantly have new people coming into this industry who typically ask the newbe questions we all started out asking. These initial questions often involve answering the what, where, when, how and why of a pest management program. What was intended to be a simple question ends up getting a complex answer.

So, where do you start? Here are the major factors I consider when developing an individual pest management program:

1. Site: Where is the vineyard located? Vineyards located in low lying wind protected areas and/or exposed to some shade during the day will retain dew and rain much longer than vineyards located on wind swept hills exposed to the southeast where the early sunlight will quickly dry the leaves. Wet plants = more disease pressure = more spraying. Vineyards located near woodlands will often be exposed to diseases and insects associated to wild grapes early in the season. Black Rot, Phylloxera and Grape Dane Borer would be examples of this.

2. Cultivar: Different cultivars have different ranges of disease susceptibilities. Bluebell, Brianna, Cayuga White, Edelweiss, King of the North, Mars, Norton/Cynthiana and St. Vincent are examples of highly disease resistant cultivars. Cultivars like Catawba, Chancellor, LaCrosse, Niagara, and Reliance are highly disease susceptible cultivars that would likely require a more intensive fungicide spray program. Page 22 of the 2011 Midwest Small Fruit & Grape Spray Guide has a good chart showing the different cultivars and their disease susceptibilities. Excellent disease and background information on individual cold climate cultivars we plant here in the Upper Midwest can be found in Lisa Smiley’s A Review of Cold Climate Grape Cultivars.

3. Pests: What are the primary pests we need to protect the grapes against? The primary diseases we need protection against here in the Upper Midwest would be Anthracnose, Black Rot, Downy Mildew, Phomopsis and Powdery Mildew. The major insect pests we need to be ready to control here would include foliar Phylloxera, Japanese Beetles, Grape Berry Moth and Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles (MALB). Every vineyard has annual, winter annual and perennial weeds present. Whether it be by mulch, mechanical, fire, cultural method or herbicide; some kind of early to midseason weed control program needs to put in place to protect yield and the growth of the vine.

4. Sanitation: Removing the mummies from the canes and removing pruning debris left in the vineyard is the first step in any disease management program. Keeping weeds from going to seed will reduce weed pressures in the future. Removing wild grapes from the edges of the vineyard will reduce both disease and insect pressures. Every vineyard has them, those individual vines or entire cultivars that always have serious disease or insect problems. Sometimes it is better to just pull them out instead of constantly dealing with those infested plants that spread their problems to nearby vines.

5. Conventional vs. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) vs. Sustainable vs. Organic vs. Biodynamic Systems: There can be many means to an end. In actuality, many vineyards use a range of practices that cannot be defined as any one system. Typically the farther one moves away from the conventional, the more knowledge and management of that system is required. Descriptions and guidelines for these various methods can be found below:

Conventional: 2011 Midwest Small Fruit and Grape Spray Guide
Midwest Small Fruit Pest Mgt. Handbook

Integrated Pest Management: Grape IPM in the Northeast
Pest Management Strategic Plan for the North Central Region Grape Industry

Sustainable: VineBalance – Sustainable Viticulture in the Northeast workbook, Cornell University
ISU Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
VineWise – Washington Guide to Sustainable Viticulture
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
Lodi Sustainable Viticulture Practices

Organic: Organic Grape Disease Mgt. Guide, Ohio State University
Grapes: Organic Production
Production Guide for Organic Grapes
, Cornell University
Organic Risk Mgt. Crops Manual
, University of Minnesota

Biodynamic: U.S. Branch of Demeter International
Biodynamic Farming & Gardening Association

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

6. Pesticide Selection: The type of pesticide used will often depend on which of the above systems one decides to use. Pesticides certified for organic use can be found at the Organic Materials Review Institute. Many of the organic pesticides can be used in a Biodynamic system. Labels for the conventional pesticides can be found in the CDMS Pesticide Label Directory Sustainable and Integrated Pest Management systems can use organic and/or conventional pesticide products.

7. Pesticide Toxicity: Knowing the toxicity of a pesticide whether it be conventional or organic should always be considered prior to use. Most pesticides will have one of three “Signal Words” on the front of the label. Signal words describe the acute (short-term) toxicity of the formulated pesticide product. The signal word can be either: DANGER, WARNING or CAUTION.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires a signal word on most pesticide product labels. They also require it to be printed on the front panel, in capital letters. The only pesticide products that are not required to display a signal word are those that fall into the lowest toxicity category by all routes of exposure (oral, dermal, inhalation, and other effects like eye and skin irritation).

CAUTION means the pesticide product is slightly toxic if eaten, absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or it causes slight eye or skin irritation.

WARNING indicates the pesticide product is moderately toxic if eaten, absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or it causes moderate eye or skin irritation.

DANGER means that the pesticide product is highly toxic by at least one route of exposure. It may be corrosive, causing irreversible damage to the skin or eyes. Alternatively, it may be highly toxic if eaten, absorbed through the skin, or inhaled. If this is the case, then the word “POISON” must also be included in red letters on the front panel of the product label.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)of most of the conventional pesticide products can be found in the CDMS Pesticide Label Directory. The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) are two other excellent resources to learn about the toxicity of a particular pesticide.

8. Pesticide Resistance: Whether it is a fungicide, insecticide or herbicide, pests will often become very tolerant or resistant to any one pesticide that is used repeatedly or used only by itself often.
Using labeled rates, rotating different pesticides from different chemical classes, using fewer applications and combining two pesticides of different Mode of Action (MOA) to control the pest will greatly reduce the potential of resistance showing up in your vineyard. The following resources can be used to manage pesticide resistance in your vineyard:

Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC)
Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC)
Herbicide Resistance Action Committee (HRAC)

9. Timing: Constant monitoring of the crop for pests, crop stage, weather and period of the season will determine when pest control applications are applied. A regimented 5 to 10 day preventive fungicide spray program starting just prior to bud break and through veraison is common to commercial vineyards in the Upper Midwest. Insect control should be applied only when the pests have been found and are expected to cause economic damage. Early to mid-season weed control is necessary to produce good yields. The Restricted-Entry Interval (REI) and the Pre-Harvest Interval (PHI) of the pesticide used can also affect the timing of the application. Running the airblast sprayer when the neighbors are not home greatly reduces the chances of a potential conflict.

10. Government Regulations: Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP) require a person to have a Private Pesticide Applicator license to purchase and apply. General Use Pesticides (GUP) do not require any special licensing to purchase or apply. In either case, the pesticide label is the law and label requirements must be followed. The Federal Worker Protection Standard (WPS) has requirements employers and employees must follow when pesticides are being used. Complete information in regards to pesticide applicator licensing and the Worker Protection Standard can be found in Wine Grower News #155 - 2-28-11.

11. Cost: The cost of a particular pesticide should be considered but not be the main determining factor when putting a pest management program together. The crop protection business is VERY COMPETITIVE and the price of the pesticide most likely will determine its value. Older chemistries with their often less than desirable side effects typically cost less than our newer products that are used at much smaller rates with less undesirable effects. A high cost per gallon or pound will often be very competitive and effective on a per acre basis.

12. Application Equipment: A conventional hydraulic sprayer with the typical tank, pump, hose and nozzle will work fine for weed control. This system can also work well in a young 1-2 year old vineyard prior to a heavy canopy developing. An airblast or mist type of a sprayer is essential to get the total plant coverage necessary for our preventative fungicides to work properly. Proper calibration of the sprayer is critical for pesticide efficacy.

These 12 major factors are what I consider the most important when planning a pest management program. Other minor topics of interest some might consider important might be the type of Personal Protective Equipment one must wear when applying a pesticide, pesticide storage requirements, the Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) record keeping required and what the nearby neighbors will tolerate.

There is nothing simply about putting together a vineyard pest management program. Often, the pest management requirements become the #1 reason people get out of the commercial vineyard business. Many who thought an Organic Program was a No Spray Program are quickly overwhelmed when the weeds, diseases and insects take over. You don’t learn this stuff overnight. It takes time and practice to become proficient at this discipline.


Iowa Did Well at the 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

The 11th Annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition was held on March 26 & 27 at the Rochester Plaza Hotel in Rochester, NY. This is the largest charitable wine competition in the U.S. This competition benefits Camp Good Days & Special Times, a nonprofit organization that provides camping experience for those facing difficult challenges such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and violence.

Sixty judges were present to judge 3,259 wines from 788 wineries from 19 different countries. The following wineries from Iowa won awards at this competition:

There were also many other wineries from the upper Midwest who won awards at this competition. There were 37 wines from IL, 50 wines from MN, 58 wines from MO, 17 wines from NE, 14 wines from SD and 20 wines from WI that won awards.

The complete competition results can be found here: http://www.fliwc.com/


Best Practice Wine Workshops – 3 down, 1 to go - April 26

What: Best Practice Workshops: SO2 Management, Analysis and Calculations, Winery Cleaning & Sanitation, Identifying Wine Faults, Individual Q & A (open topics)

Where & When: 1-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 26 Eastern Iowa
Heartland Harvest Winery, 2116 290th Ave. Fort Madison, IA 52627

Cost: "FREE", but advance registration is required!

To Register: Contact Tammi Martin one week in advance with your name, address, e-mail, phone and date of choice. tkmartin@iastate.edu or 515-294-3308
Sponsored by: Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute

Donations are always appreciated: Visit http://www.extension.iastate.edu/wine


Vignoles Workshop – University of Missouri, Columbia, 5-2

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, 5-2-11

Where: Eckles Hall Cafeteria, University of Missouri, Columbia

Who: Missouri Wine Technical Group

Cost: An annual group membership fee of $15.00 per member is due for those wishing to join and attend future workshops. Make checks payable to Missouri Wine Technical Group.

Registration and Details: http://missouriwine.org/industry/missouriwinetechnicalgroup

Sponsored by: Vitro: http://www.vitro.com/


WineMaker Magazine Conference 5-(20-21)

When: Friday & Saturday, May 20 & 21, 2011

Where: Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort, Santa Barbara, CA:

Agenda: 28 big seminars

  • Classes on winemaking techniques, grape growing & more!
  • Special social events to trade ideas with fellow hobbyists
  • WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition Awards Dinner

Cost: $599 each for Friday-Saturday Conference, an additional $200 for the Thursday winemaking, winelab, or grape growing boot camp.

Full details and registration: http://www.winemakermag.com/conference


Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop & Farm Tour 2011 6-(9+10)

When: Thursday & Friday June 9 & 10, 2011

Where: June 9 – American Legion Hall, 35 South 2nd Street, Hartsburg, MO
Ph: 573- 657-2960
June 10 – American Legion & Eridu Farms, 19010 S. Mackie Lane
Hartsburg, MO 65039

Presentations by:
Researchers who have developed superior elderberry strains, Elderberry Growers, Elderberry Processors

Cost: $25 each, Includes lunch & snacks.

Registration: required prior to June 1, 2011
value-added sourcebook included in registration packet

Note: Camping Available - Live Music after the farm tour.

Details: Go to http://www.riverhillsharvest.com or call 573-424-9693

Sponsored by: Missouri Department of Agriculture & USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Misc. Elderberry Links:
Elderberry Economic Decision Model
, Center for AgroForestry, Univ. of MO at Columbia
Elderberry Wine Recipes from Jack Keller

Elderberry Net: http://www.elderberry.net/
, Univ. of Kentucky publication, Oct. 2008
Elderberry Production in Quebec, 79 slide ppt presentation by Agriculture Canada


Notable Quotables

  1. “Even after the Granholm decision, states continue to try to restrict wine shipments. Lawsuits continue to be filed to challenge these restrictions.”

    From: Wine Law: Granholm vs. Heald a Case of Distribution and Glory, 4-17-11 - JusteLuxe
  2. “53% of people were able to distinguish between the cheap and expensive white wines, while only 47% correctly identified the reds, suggesting a 50:50 chance of identifying a wine as cheap or expensive based on taste alone.”

    From: Industry attacks psychologist for flawed taste test, 4-18-11 – the drinks business
  3. “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”

    From: Hannibal in the movie Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  4. “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am not drinking any $%^@# Merlot!”

    From: Miles in the movie Sideways (2004)


Marketing Tidbits

  1. “Of the $48 billion in consumer loyalty reward points dispensed each year, at least one-third (or $16 billion) are never cashed in, according to a study from Colloquy and Swift Exchange.”

    From: Study: One-Third Of Loyalty Rewards Uncashed, 4-19-11 – Marketing Daily
  2. “A new study from Arc Worldwide, Leo Burnett's marketing services arm, reports that 50% of consumers use their mobile device to shop….”

    From: Half of Americans Use Cell Phones to Shop, 4-20-11 - Marketing Daily


Show n Tell

(Left) Note the winter annual weeds that have emerged under the middle trellis. Dave Klodd (winemaker and vineyard manager at Summerset Winery) showed me where he missed spraying last fall when he applied a Roundup/Prowl H20/Chateau dormant fall herbicide application. Note how weed free the adjacent rows are in comparison. 4-12-11






(Below) Grape Pruner Needed! I hear it from vineyard owners all the time: "I am way behind, I am not even done with my grape pruning yet!” Well,… my entire vineyard consists of one Concord grape vine and I too am way behind this year. I now know your pain!

Seeing that the average custom rate cost of pruning a vineyard will often vary between 60¢ to $1 per vine,.. I would be willing to pay someone $1.50 to prune my vineyard. mlw 4-21-11

(Below) Check out the PawLights from Paw Struck in Ames, Iowa. They are recycling wine bottles into lights with paw prints and photos: http://www.pawstruckpets.com/default.html

This lead came from:
Patrick Pierquet, Enology Assistant
OSU – OARDC, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691
Ph: 330/263-3879 or ppierquet@gmail.com







Articles of Interest

  1. FDA Says Alcohol Not Subject To New Labeling Rules, Solicits Comments, 4-18-11 – WineIndustryInsight: http://wineindustryinsight.com/?p=24712
  2. Making Organic Wine Work, 4-20-11 – Watsonville Patch:
  3. Photopurification of Wine with UV Technology, 4-20-11 – Indian Wine Academy: http://www.indianwineacademy.com/item_2_447.aspx
  4. Don’t Be a Cork Dork -- Recycle, 4-21-11 – Huffington Post:
  5. Being Prairie Berry, 4-3-11 – Rapid City Journal


Videos of Interest

  1. Wine from Here – 2:43 minute movie trailer by the WineBrothers for their upcoming documentary on natural wines due out in the Summer of 2012 :


Neeto-Keeno WWW Stuff

  1. Naked Winery & Orgasmic Wine Company: http://www.nakedwinery.com
  2. Naked Winery is opening tasting room in Custer and Hill City, SD:
  3. Gas Station TV : http://www.gstv.com/
  4. Social Media Examiner: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com


Calendar of Events:

4-(26), 1-4:30 p.m. Best Practice Wine Workshops, Heartland Harvest Winery – “FREE”. Contact:Tammi Martin for details and registration tkmartin@iastate.edu or 515-294-3308

4-23, Viticulture 201 - First Year through Year Three, Black Squirrel Vineyard – Council Bluffs. Details: at http://www.westerniowagrapegrowers.org

4-28, Wine Chemistry Basics for Midwestern Winemakers, Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, 4746 N. Ford Rd. Galena, IL. Sponsored by the Northern Illinois Wine Growers Association: http://northernillinoiswine.com/

4-(28 & 29) + 5-(5+6), Northern IL Spring Vineyard Tune-up Workshops, 4 locations. Contact: Illinois Grape Growers & Vintners Association – 217-782-6515
4-30 to 5-1, VESTA Winery Sanitation Workshop - Augusta, MO. Further Info: http://www.vesta-usa.org/main/index.php/current-students/calendar/icalrepeat.detail/2011/04/30/30/-/winery-sanitation-workshop

5-2, Vignoles Workshop – University of Missouri, Columbia. Eckles Hall Cafeteria, University of Missouri, Columbia. Details: http://missouriwine.org/industry/missouriwinetechnicalgroup

5-(5-8), Kothe Distilling Spring Workshop, Kothe Distilling Technologies, Chicago, IL. Details & Registration: http://www.kothe-distilling.com/en/products/workshops/60-kothe-distilling-technologies-spring-2011-workshop

5-(20-21), WineMaker Magazine Conference, Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort – Santa Barbara, CA. Full details and registration: http://www.winemakermag.com/conference

5-21, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Airblast Sprayer Workshop with Dr. Andrew Landers author of Effective Vineyard Spraying at the ISU Horticulture Research Station, Ames, IA. $60 each & $44 for the book. Max of 30 participants. Contact: Mike White at mlwhite@iastate.edu

6-(4+5), Kothe Distilling Summer Workshop, Kothe Distilling Technologies , Chicago, IL. Details: : http://www.kothe-distilling.com/en/component/content/article/15-workshop-information/75-kothe-summer-2011-workshop

6-7, Viticulture Field Day, Missouri Grape Growers Assn. (MGGA) & theInstitute for Continental Climate Viticulture & Enology (ICCVE). Details here: http://www.missourigrapegrowers.org/

6-(9+10), Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop & Farm Tour, American Legion Hall and Eridu Farms in Hartsburg, MO. Details at http://www.riverhillsharvest.com or call 573-424-9693

6-(20-24), American Society for Enology & Viticulture – Portola Hotel & Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, CA: http://asev.org/national-conference-2011/


Total Circulation of 1,350+ recipients in AZ, CA, CO, FL, OH, IA, IN, IL, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, SD, VA, VT, WA, WA DC, WI, Australia, Canada, Israel, Norway & Turkey

Michael L. White,
ISU Extension Viticulture Specialist
909 East 2nd Ave. Suite E, Indianola, IA 50125-2892
ph: 515-961-6237, fax: 6017, cell: 515-681-7286 mlwhite@iastate.edu


Extension Professionals' Creed

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I BELIEVE in the public institutions of which I am a part.

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